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John F. Olson


Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Distinguished Visitor from Practice

B.A., University of California, Berkeley; J.D., Harvard

John F. Olson joined the faculty as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice in 2007. Previously, Mr. Olson was the Distinguished Visiting Practitioner in Residence at Cornell Law School...

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John F. Olson joined the faculty as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice in 2007. Previously, Mr. Olson was the Distinguished Visiting Practitioner in Residence at Cornell Law School and taught corporate governance at Northwestern University School of Law. At Georgetown, he teaches an advanced seminar in securities regulation and a seminar on governance of non-profit organizations.

A frequent lecturer at legal and business seminars, Professor Olson co-chairs various seminars on an annual basis. He is on the executive committee for the San Diego Securities Regulation Institute and the advisory committee for the Practicing Law Institute's Annual Securities Regulation Institute. He is the author of more than 100 articles and a member of the editorial advisory boards for a variety of securities and corporate law publications.

In the American Bar Association (ABA), Professor Olson served for five years (2000-2005) as Chairman of the Business Law Section's Committee on Corporate Governance, and was also a member of the Task Force on Corporate Responsibility appointed by the President of the ABA. Previously, he was chairman of the ABA's Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities (1991-1995). He is a member of the Executive Council of the Securities Section of the Federal Bar Association.

For the ABA, Professor Olson also chaired the Task Force on Regulation of Insider Trading, which produced a comprehensive analysis of and report on U.S. insider trading law, and he chaired the Task Force which produced the third (2001) and fourth (2004) editions of The Corporate Director's Guidebook. He has served for many years on the ABA's Corporate Laws Committee, and served as a Council member and member of the Publications Board of the ABA's Business Law Section. He has been a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and the Legal Advisory Board of the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA). He was a founding trustee of the American College of Investment Counsel and is the inaugural chair of the American College of Governance Counsel.

Professor Olson was a founding partner of Gibson, Dunn &Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Olson has extensive experience in general representation of business organizations on corporate governance, corporate securities, corporate finance and merger and acquisition matters. He has counseled many boards of directors and board committees on governance issues and in assessing shareholder litigation, responding to business combination proposals and conducting internal investigations. He also has represented firms and individuals in defense of Securities and Exchange Commission and other governmental investigations. Professor Olson led a team of his firm's lawyers which advised the Board of the American Red Cross on a comprehensive audit of its governance practices in 2006. In both 2010 and 2011, based on BTI Consulting's independent surveys of 200 corporate general counsel, he was named one of a small number of national Client Service All-Stars for his "true thought leadership;innovation;creativity applied to the client;focused, practical problem-solving;valued counsel;responsiveness and accessibility;total commitment to the client". In December 2009 and again in 2011, Washingtonian Magazine named him one of Washington's Top lawyers for securities law. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, he was selected by the National Association of Corporate Directors and Directorship magazine as one of the "Directorship 100: The Most Influential People in the Boardroom" in the U.S. and in 2013 was elected to the permanent Directorship 100 Hall of Fame.He has been regularly ranked one of the top securities advisory attorneys in the District of Columbia by Chambers USA America's Leading Business Lawyers. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America®for corporate, securities, and governance work in every edition published since its inception more than 30 years ago.Mr. Olson is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American College of Governance Counsel (2015-present).

 

Recent Scholarship

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • John F. Olson & Aaron K. Briggs, The Model Business Corporation Act and Corporate Governance: An Enabling Statute Moves Toward Normative Standards, 74:1 Law & Contemp. Probs. 31-43 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • John F. Olson, South Africa Moves to a Global Model of Corporate Governance but with Important National Variations, 2010 Acta Juridica 219-247.   
View all scholarship

All Scholarship 2010 - Present

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • John F. Olson & Aaron K. Briggs, The Model Business Corporation Act and Corporate Governance: An Enabling Statute Moves Toward Normative Standards, 74:1 Law & Contemp. Probs. 31-43 (2011).    [HEIN] [W] [WWW]
  • John F. Olson, South Africa Moves to a Global Model of Corporate Governance but with Important National Variations, 2010 Acta Juridica 219-247.   
Recent scholarship

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